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The Politics of the Nomination of Judge Sotomayor

May 26, 2009

From The Atlantic Monthly, Andrew Sullivan makes an interesting point about the White House’s strategy with the Sotomayor nomination. According to Sullivan, the administration’s arguments in support of the nomination will focus on her center-right credentials as a way of deflating any of the “leftist” and “activist judge” rhetoric from the political right. The White House talking points:

* Before she was promoted to the Second Circuit by President Clinton in 1998, she was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush – a show of bipartisan support that proves good judging transcends political party.

* Known as a moderate on the court, Sotomayor often forges consensus and agreeing with her more conservative nominees far more frequently than she disagrees with them. In cases where Sotomayor and at least one judge appointed by a Republican president were on the three-judge panel, Sotomayor and the Republican appointee(s) agreed on the outcome 95% of the time.

* Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second Circuit, said “Sonia is an outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind. She brings a wealth of knowledge and hard work to all her endeavors on our court. It is both a pleasure and an honor to serve with her. “

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